Officer Michael Brelo’s acquittal has led to an uproar and growth in Cleveland protests, which has led to 71 arrests


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Officer Michael Brelo was the only officer accused of the voluntary manslaughter of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams in 2012 and as of Saturday he was acquitted. 

With the rising tension and growing awareness of police brutality across America, Brelo’s acquittal could not have come at a worse time. What started out as peaceful protests during Saturday afternoon slowly escalated to more aggressive ones as night fell. 

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Eventually, protestors shut down several downtown streets with officials making 71 arrests under “felonious assault, aggravated rioting, unlawful congregation and failure to disperse” charges according to Police Chief Calvin Williams. What kickstarted the arrests Saturday was a protester throwing an object through a restaurant window outside the Quicken Loans Arena which injured a female patron. On Monday many protesters appeared in court  with 56 people charged with misdemeanors. Civil rights attorneys James Hardiman, Michael Nelson and Gordon Friedman as well as members of the National Lawyers Guild lent their support and represented many of the defendants in court.

-Nishat Baig